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Raise your hand if you’re a writer and you’ve asked yourself that before. I mean, you don’t have to literally raise your hand, because I obviously can’t see you (OR CAN I?!) but be honest – if you’re a writer, you’ve probably wondered at least once something like, “Am I querying correctly?” or “Do I have the ‘wrong’ type of relationship with my agent?” (And if you haven’t, congratulations on being the most confident and self-assured person in the history of the universe. You can totally stop reading now.)

There’s so much about putting ourselves out there in writing that’s already so hard to take; just sending a draft to a CP can be completely and utterly panic-attack inducing. Add second-guessing and wondering if UR DOING IT RONG to the list and you’ll drive yourself nuts. So how do you know if your approach falls under the umbrella of “normal”? Well, you ask people. Which can be frightening in itself, especially if you’re afraid that asking will suggest that you know less, are less worthy, are having issues where everyone else seems to be gliding along perfectly. Or which can be difficult, if you don’t really feel connected to “the writing community” or have people whose opinions you really trust.

So I did the asking for you – ten gracious, honest, and wonderful querying writers; ten gracious, honest, and wonderful agented writers (I’m #11); twelve gracious, honest, and wonderful pre-pub authors; and eight gracious, honest, and wonderful published authos, all of whom are braving or have braved trenches and have been kind enough to share their experiences in an effort to show that there are a whole lot of definitions of “normal” out there. The questions I asked, and their anonymous responses, have been/will be posted in those three new sections at the top of my blog: “Perpetual WIPs: Querying Writers,” “Perpetual WIPs: Agented Writers,” “Perpetual WIPS: Pre-Pub Writers,” and “Perpetual WIPs: Published Authors.” I highly recommend you check out what they had to say. Hopefully you’ll find it educational, insightful, and most of all, mind-freeing!

A major thank-you is in order to Suzi Retzlaff, whose weekly series, “The Big Reveal,” absolutely and unquestionably contributed hugely to this idea.

And, of course, a huge, huge thank-you to all the participants. You guys are amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.